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Pretty interesting update from Linus --
jens commented on 19 September 2018 at 8:30 pm UTC

mirv@jarhead_h:

There's a difference between being a harsh taskmaster, and being insulting. There's absolutely no reason to insult and put people down for mistakes. There's no reason why telling people trying to do improper things means you have to berate them. It's just as easy to keep it technical, keep it professional, and make decisions without insulting or being derogatory.

Put another way, if I disagreed with you, should I then verbally abuse you? I think you would be quick to take offense.

Why Linus has been good at leading Linux development has nothing to do with abuse. It has everything to do with making competent decisions and keeping development direction in check - something I've seen others do just as well without the insults. Linus seems to now realise this and is taking steps to address it. Which is really responsible of him to do, and if he can come back and keep up managerial role of leading kernel development, then things will probably be twice as good as they are now.

That's not to say that people can never be, well, frustrated, or can never make the odd obscenity. But there are limits.

Thank you, exactly.
There is a huge difference between "your code is crap" and "you (as a person) are crap". Saying the latter is not OK, no matter the circumstances.

Hamish commented on 19 September 2018 at 10:14 pm UTC

We're a charming bunch, aren't we?

jarhead_h commented on 20 September 2018 at 5:32 am UTC

mirvThere's nothing in there regarding "inclusive genderless language". At all. So all you're doing is spreading a bit of FUD here.

There's nothing in there YET. The Code of Conduct will be ignored by the people that wanted it until they get a chance to use it against someone that they want to get rid of, then it will be applied to that person with a vengeance. Just remember that when it happens, not IF, but when, the Code of Conduct is working as designed when it chases off the productive members of the project. As others have stated, it already happened to FreeBSD. We already know how this goes because we can chart it in real-time over there.

This is classic Linus, the horrors of an idiot being told off(again):
https://lkml.org/lkml/2012/12/23/75

This is my the most relative part:
QuoteIt's a bug alright - in the kernel. How long have you been a
maintainer? And you *still* haven't learnt the first rule of kernel
maintenance?

If a change results in user programs breaking, it's a bug in the
kernel. We never EVER blame the user programs. How hard can this be to
understand?

And Linus is completely pissed off that he continually refers to everything that was working as broken, because his patch made working programs stop working. He swears at him, tells him to shut the f^&K up, calls him a idiot, and in general belittles the hell out of him. And he earned every bit of it. He didn't just own up, he blamed everybody else for why his patch broke everything. And then he agrees with Linus a lot in the resulting back and forth.

Oh, no. He had to READ harsh words. What a horror. How awful. Linus didn't even really yell at him.

I don't know, maybe it's my Marine Corps background, but this is pretty normal to me. You get it done, you might get yelled at a whole bunch with lots of bad words, and there's nobody on the other end shinning up a participation trophy for you, but you got the job done. Or you get out of the way so that someone else can.

Samsai commented on 20 September 2018 at 6:10 am UTC

jarhead_hI don't know, maybe it's my Marine Corps background, but this is pretty normal to me. You get it done, you might get yelled at a whole bunch with lots of bad words, and there's nobody on the other end shinning up a participation trophy for you, but you got the job done. Or you get out of the way so that someone else can.
Maybe the command style of yelling at someone and calling them names works when you are under fire and need to force someone to do something. But as someone who has also been on the receiving end of army-style yelling, I can tell you that when someone lead me like that I did the absolute minimum that was necessary and didn't go out of my way to do a good job. I was also lead by people who gave decent feedback and under the command of those people I put effort into what I was doing and strived to do a good job and be efficient. Because, you see, if you expect to be yelled at there's no point in using any initiative, just do your thing quickly and hope you can get out before the yelling starts. On the other hand if you get good feedback and even the occasional word of encouragement you have a reason to do well.

mirv commented on 20 September 2018 at 8:35 am UTC

Unfortunately, people have already left the kernel community, including kernel maintainers, over the abuse they've suffered there. So it is already damaging kernel development. Also, people are rarely top notch out of the gate - they make mistakes, they learn. Personal attacks (which is the core of the issue here) during that learning is really not acceptable in the kernel development community.

As I said, I don't think Linus actually means any of it as a personal attack. He very likely has never seen it that way. But, his behaviour then allows others to think they can do the same, which is where the problems really start.

Other projects (including Apache, x.org foundation) have codes of conduct and are doing just fine. FSF actively encourages projects to have one. I've not heard of vitriol coming from the gcc community (maybe it's there, but I've not heard of it). Kernel development really isn't going to suffer from including a CoC.

HadBabits commented on 20 September 2018 at 4:45 pm UTC

I think some of the comments here show the damage that's already been done to the Linux community. When aggressive disrespect is equated to honesty that indicates a problem imo. This isn't how a boss, or a leader, should act in any job. If my boss shouted at me in such a manner, even if it was my mistake, I'm gonna be more resentful than productive. I've had the good fortune to work under some great people, and I've found that produces it's own morale. Someone who gets things done, but still supports their team, generates a good atmosphere that drives people to want to be useful to the team; they don't want to disappoint the boss. As opposed to doing things because you don't want to get berated. And just because dedicated workers remain that doesn't mean it's because of Linus's attitude; it's more likely because they love Linux.

All this nonsense about SJW culture just sounds extreme and paranoid. Life isn't black and white, that's just not reality. To me it sounds like a lot of this anger comes from people who are unwilling to accept this; unwilling to improve because they want to stick to old solutions. There's no magic bullet for rules of civility and ethics, there's no definitive 'SJW culture' out there. It's just humans trying there darnedest to communicate better with other humans. I have a deep seated resentment of 'corporate culture', but just because they create standards doesn't mean those standards are bad. They tend to be fairly humane because that's what corporations pretend to be: Human.

Lastly, it's ironic that the people who hold Linus infallible are also contending that's he's wrong about his own introspection; the fucking gall. As someone whose overcome, and still overcoming, emotional and behavioral problems, I'm really happy for Linus. Regardless of the kernel, this is probably a positive step for Linus's life and relationships. If that means he decided to quit (which he isn't), c'est la vie. Linux has been bigger than Linus for a while now.

And if people leave because they preferred working in a toxic work environment (or these paranoid fantasies), all I can say is good riddance to bad rubbish

baccilus commented on 21 September 2018 at 6:37 am UTC

HadBabitsI think some of the comments here show the damage that's already been done to the Linux community. When aggressive disrespect is equated to honesty that indicates a problem imo. This isn't how a boss, or a leader, should act in any job. If my boss shouted at me in such a manner, even if it was my mistake, I'm gonna be more resentful than productive. I've had the good fortune to work under some great people, and I've found that produces it's own morale. Someone who gets things done, but still supports their team, generates a good atmosphere that drives people to want to be useful to the team; they don't want to disappoint the boss. As opposed to doing things because you don't want to get berated. And just because dedicated workers remain that doesn't mean it's because of Linus's attitude; it's more likely because they love Linux.

All this nonsense about SJW culture just sounds extreme and paranoid. Life isn't black and white, that's just not reality. To me it sounds like a lot of this anger comes from people who are unwilling to accept this; unwilling to improve because they want to stick to old solutions. There's no magic bullet for rules of civility and ethics, there's no definitive 'SJW culture' out there. It's just humans trying there darnedest to communicate better with other humans. I have a deep seated resentment of 'corporate culture', but just because they create standards doesn't mean those standards are bad. They tend to be fairly humane because that's what corporations pretend to be: Human.

Lastly, it's ironic that the people who hold Linus infallible are also contending that's he's wrong about his own introspection; the fucking gall. As someone whose overcome, and still overcoming, emotional and behavioral problems, I'm really happy for Linus. Regardless of the kernel, this is probably a positive step for Linus's life and relationships. If that means he decided to quit (which he isn't), c'est la vie. Linux has been bigger than Linus for a while now.

And if people leave because they preferred working in a toxic work environment (or these paranoid fantasies), all I can say is good riddance to bad rubbish

For good things to come out of this CoC, it will have to become more specific about everything that it just glosses over. And it should have sufficient checks against misuse. You may deny the SJW culture, but it is real. While it should mean acceptance irrespective of your skin deep characteristics, it has come to mean acceptance because of your identities. People who are speaking against this CoC have some very strong arguments which the CoC proponents have no answer for.
The potential for misuse is very real because it seems to be built for misuse. From the github page:

QuoteHaha yeah it's not like the creator of the given CoC would instantly attempt to abuse it the moment it was accepted to go after Ted Ts'o, one of the most important members of the community, over his comments on something irrelevant a bunch of years ago
No, this CoC is definitely here to help the community be more tolerant, and in no way a cancerous tumor
No, that would just be intolerant of me to say that
Archive of Sharp's comments

I am sorry but people here have not comprehended the misuse potential of this harmless sounding Code of Conduct.

Guppy commented on 21 September 2018 at 9:21 am UTC

Good on Linus for finally acknowledging his complete lack of empathy.


But honestly having a "Code of Conduct" beyond just "don't be an asshole" is just inviting doom at the hands of the SJW "community". If it has not already begun you will soon see a storm of snowflakes that's never written a line of code or head of Linux before that will be starting a mixed media shit storm over this in trying to out-SJW each other and destroy who and what they can along the way so they can climb the imaginary ladder of the SJW "community"


ps. I case you don't know what "SJW" means, you are blessed. DON'T google it, just stick your fingers in your ears for the next 6-12 months and be happier for it.

Salvatos commented on 21 September 2018 at 12:36 pm UTC

baccilusI am sorry but people here have not comprehended the misuse potential of this harmless sounding Code of Conduct.
I understand your perspective on the whole, but where I have trouble getting real worried about it is that the kernel project adopting a code of conduct doesn't give power to people outside the project. It's still up to the TAB to enforce it and revise it as necessary. That's why I'm more neutral about it and consider that if the TAB means it to be as fair and level-headed as it is written, there isn't much cause for concern -- and if the TAB has been taken over by unreasonable SJWs, they're going to make trouble with or without a code of conduct.

HadBabits commented on 21 September 2018 at 1:09 pm UTC

baccilus
QuoteHaha yeah it's not like the creator of the given CoC would instantly attempt to abuse it the moment it was accepted to go after Ted Ts'o, one of the most important members of the community, over his comments on something irrelevant a bunch of years ago
No, this CoC is definitely here to help the community be more tolerant, and in no way a cancerous tumor
No, that would just be intolerant of me to say that
Archive of Sharp's comments

I am sorry but people here have not comprehended the misuse potential of this harmless sounding Code of Conduct.

Rape apologist is a strong accusation, but after reading about the incident I can't really argue with it. For those not in the know, Mark Pesce had a keynote at linux.conf.au 2011 where he included some weirdly sexual images, most notably a prostrate man in his underwear being dominated by a woman in lingerie, and a woman being choked by another woman from behind with a small length of rope (you can download the the key note slides at the bottom of this page). This understandably put people off at this technical conference and the conference and the Linux Australia Council apologized for a presentation they said violated their guidelines.

A discussion followed in a mailing list where people discussed how the key note could upset people who've been the victims of sexual abuse. That's when Ted T'so went into detail as to why he thinks rape statistics are exaggerated (For some reason he dismisses the sexual assault of children, as well as victims assaulted by a partner from his numbers) and dismissing the idea of sexual coercion in what I'd call a critical misunderstanding of sexual abuse, ending with a "it's their own fault" narrative:

QuotePersonally, it's not an issue for me because I strongly don't believe in going to parties where
a lot of one-night stands are negotiated, nor do I like situations where a lot of alcohol is
consumed. So I'm also predisposed to not have a lot of sympathy for both parties --- male
or female, attacker or victim --- who put themselves in such situations.

Now, I've had several close friends, including one male, who were victims of sexual assault. Most of them were assaulted by a relative sometime in their youth and I can tell you with a heavy heart that it affects every single one of them to this day; which is why I'm baffled that T'so would consider child cases irrelevant when discussing how people could be bothered by such imagery. And not one of these were reported because the victims were ashamed or they couldn't get their own family to accept it (because it's easier to brush things under the rug then prosecute a relative). All because we live in a culture where the victims are looked at with intense suspicion by default; due to a paranoia that vindictive women will go out of their way to ruin people's lives, which is apparently more important than the lives of the victims which get ruined.

So basically, I have very little sympathy for this guy. Sharp's concern is that there's no guidelines for reporting inappropriate comments, no guarantee of anonymity, and that people like T'so could be handling these proceedings; which could understandably discourage people from using it at all. The CoC gives broad power to the maintainers. Ironically, you and Sharp have the same base argument: that the CoC isn't defined well enough and has the potential to be misused. But instead of just trashing it, she wants to improve it.

If you have any similarly framed cases just spare me; I'm not doing another 1+ hour of research to get the proper context because you deemed it 'irrelevant'.

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